USA 2013, Documentary, 68’ | Director, Screenplay, Contact Shelly Silver | Editor Shelly Silver, Cassandra Guan | Sound Bill Seery | Narrator Lu Yu | Production House Productions

»I want to focus on the act – particular, yet open-ended – that entrances my protagonist: an act that we, the audience, share with him. This is the act of watching. Looking. Seeing. What does it mean to look, to watch, to photograph, to film? ... I want to focus on fiction, this realm that frees us from the stranglehold, the exigencies of past and present. The narrator uses fiction to imagine that things can change, to expand into possibilities that ›reality‹ precludes. In this way, fiction or fabulation is the present’s gift to the future.« Shelly Silver

A man returns to Chinatown, after fifty years, to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a cataloguer and recorder, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we look at them and share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse. This man, who never tells us his name, returns as both insider and outsider to a neighbourhood from which, as a teenager, he escaped as fast as he could.

Touch is an essay narrated from one man's point of view. But it is also fiction, for this man is a made-up person, an amalgam of research, interviews, off-the-record comments, secrets, improbabilities and free- floating desires.

Shelly Silver's work crosses a variety of genres and topics while repeatedly questioning concepts such as authenticity and fiction. Attentively, she explores the structure and limitations of complex human relations. She studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, participated in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art and was a Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Ms Silver took part in artist exchanges organised by the DAAD in Berlin and the Cité des Arts in Paris. Her work can be seen world-wide at festivals, in museums or on television. She lives and works in New York where she is professor of visual arts in the School of Visual Arts at Columbia University.

Shelly Silver